I'm sharing this with little comment because I am still digesting it; it's something that I never really considered before.
The proposal before you: Have we in fact essentially eradicated true poverty in America?
Are there even a thousand really poor people in all of America? Really poor. Dying-on-the-sidewalks-with-open-sores poor?
The so-called poor have cars and cable tv and free medical. They live in America in the 21st century, where school is free and libraries are free and a bus ticket to a better town costs less than a bag of crack. If they're "poor" it's because they were too lazy and stupid to a) finish high school and/or b) keep their pants on. Jesus had something to say about folks who didn't properly manage their money or other people's, and who squandered free gifts and good will. He told the adulteress to sin no more, not to find herself another baby daddy.
Jesus said "the poor will always be with you" and all the crooked exegesis on earth can't make that line read "you are ordered by Me to eliminate poverty forever using dubious economic theories and your own stubborn yet puny human will power."
Jesus told us to love the poor because he realized it was so damn hard to do. And the poor in His day were REALLY poor. They had no choices, no upward mobility, no capitalism, no education. The Western poor haven't been in that situation for a long time. This isn't Dickensian England.
Mark Steyn, posting on The Corner, follows up:
As Miss Shaidle points out, if you're poor today, it's almost always for behavioral reasons - behavior which the state chooses not to discourage but to reward. Nonetheless, progressive types persist in deluding themselves that there are vast masses of the "needy" out there that only the government can rescue.
An editorial in Canada's biggest-selling newspaper today states:
A total of 905,000 people visited food banks across the Greater Toronto Area in the past year.
The population of Toronto is about two-and-a-half million. Is the Star suggesting one in three citizens of one of the wealthiest municipalities on earth depends on "food banks"? Or is it the same one thousand people getting three square meals a day there? Or ten thousand people swinging by a couple of times a week? And, in that case, how many of them actually "depend" on food banks? Only the Star knows. But the idea that 905,000 Torontonians need food aid is innumerate bunk.
So, in the absence of real need, we've persuaded ourselves that we need to create more and more programs for the middle-class and wealthy.
Could all those crocodile tears that the Democrats shed for the poor really be part of a plan to distract Americans while they pick our pockets, so as to be able to fund their myraid of unnecessary social projects? And could there in fact be no need for these massive social reforms that the Left claims Americans are crying out for; can it all be smoke and mirrors used to trick Americans into turning their nation into something it is not, nor was ever meant to be?
I don't know - certainly I see plenty of Shaidle's "really poor" people every day in New York ; complete with the vacant stares and the open sores that she alludes to. And I feel bad, I do, and I always wish those folks did not have to live the way they do.
But when the Democrats seem to suggest that I may not be allowed to improve my station in life until every poor person (whom I am expected to view as a personal reproach to my own "wealth") reaches what they deem to be a "fair living station", that in fact more of my money must be confiscated in order to achieve that end - well, that gets me really pissed off, not sympathetic. In holding a productive person back so that the non-productive may be given that which they did not earn, well - it seems to be...immoral. A scam, a reverse Ponzi where the bottom eats the top until...what? When eventually the bottom consumes itself?
And what of the moral imperative that Democrats demand that I am supposed to feel in this case?
Well, I'll take my cue from Jesus. The poor will always be with us.
I'll throw 'em a coin and pray for their souls. But I'm not gonna miss my train whilst tending their eternal ills. It is a Sisyphean task, and the JerseyNut doesn't do Sisyphean tasks.
Someone ought to tell the Left that guilt is a rope that can wear thin...